Amul: Longest running ad campaign in the world?

I’ve always enjoyed Amul Butter’s ads. Did you know you can view most of the Amul ads right from 1976 to the present on Amul’s site? (Dis­claimer: this blog author will not be held respon­si­ble for the hours of time a read­er may waste fol­low­ing this link).

For 30 odd years the Utter­ly But­ter­ly girl has man­aged to keep her fan fol­low­ing intact. So much so that the ads are Kargilnow ready to enter the Guin­ness Book of World Records for being the longest run­ning cam­paign ever.

India looked for­ward to Amul’s evoca­tive humour. If there was an Indi­an Air­lines strike Amul would be there again say­ing, Indi­an Air­lines Won’t Fly With­out Amul.

We ran a cou­ple of ads that cre­at­ed quite a furore,” says Sylvester daCun­ha. “The Indi­an Air­lines one real­ly angered the author­i­ties. They said if they didn’t take down the ads they would stop sup­ply­ing Amul but­ter on the plane. MusharrafSo ulti­mate­ly we dis­con­tin­ued the ad,” he says laugh­ing.Brangelina Then there was the time when the Amul girl was shown wear­ing the Gand­hi cap. The high com­mand came down heavy on that one. The Gand­hi cap was a sym­bol of inde­pen­dence, they couldn’t have any­one not tak­ing that seri­ous­ly. So despite their reluc­tance the hoard­ings were wiped clean.

Lagate Raho

Then there was an ad dur­ing the Gan­pati fes­ti­val which said, Gan­pati Bap­pa More Ghya (Gan­pati Bap­pa take more). World Cup SoccerThe Shiv Sena peo­ple said that if we didn’t do some­thing about remov­ing the ad they would come and destroy our office. It is sur­pris­ing how vig­i­lant the polit­i­cal forces are in this coun­try.”

Hero­ine Addic­tion, Amul’s lit­tle joke on Hus­sain had the artist ring­ing the daCun­has up to request them for a blow up of the ad.

Er, um…wait. Didn’t Hus­sain take them to court for defama­tion and hurt­ing his pub­lic image and sen­ti­ments? Folks like him have no self-respect or dig­ni­ty — shouldn’t peo­ple like him be banned? 🙂Sawant Ka Mahina

He said that he had seen the hoard­ing while pass­ing through a small dis­trict in UP. He said he had asked his assis­tant to take a pho­to­graph of him­self with the ad because he had found it so fun­ny,” says Rahul daCun­ha in amused tones. Indi­ans do have a sense of humour, after­all.”

Read the full sto­ry behind Amul’s 39-year old ad cam­paign here.

When worms were found in Cadbury’s choco­lates, Amul ran a cam­paign with a punch­line that read “Cad­bu­ra” (imply­ing Cad­bury is bad).Cheeni Kum Butter ZyadaNonsensex

For more on the ad agency and peo­ple involved in cre­at­ing Amul’s ads over the decades, read this blog post.

This Hin­du Busi­ness Line arti­cle is a good dis­cus­sion about a brand’s stay­ing pow­er (dis­cussing Amul, Oni­da, Lir­il, etc.). Among oth­er things, it reveals “What’s more, Amul’s ad agency has carte blanche to say what it wants in its ads, a unique fea­ture in client-ad agency rela­tion­ships across the world”.Kuch Kuch Quota Hai

Last­ly, com­ing back to the orig­i­nal top­ic of this post, did you know that Amul is the largest food brand in India with an annu­al turnover of US $868 mil­lion (2005–06)?Aati Kya Narmada Cur­rent­ly Amul has 2.41 mil­lion pro­duc­er mem­bers with milk col­lec­tion aver­age of 5.08 mil­lion litres/day. Amaz­ing feat, con­sid­er­ing the his­to­ry behind it. And yes, they’re real­ly root­ing for the Gui­ness Records!

(All images from Amul’s site)

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  • The rea­son politi­cians in India have a prob­lem with humour is that it cre­ates a plat­form for peo­ple to say things about politi­cians that they ordi­nar­i­ly would­nt say.
    Nice write up 🙂

  • nice com­pi­la­tion

  • Bacho­di: Thanks!

    Krishashok: Thanks, and yes, true. Iron­i­cal­ly, it just made me pon­der about Bal Thack­er­ay orig­i­nal­ly start­ing out as a car­toon­ist…

  • Haven’t yet been to the Amul site..thought I’d com­ment first. My favourites from the 80s are

    1) The Amul girl in a burqa react­ing shy­ly to Mian’s praise and the tagline was

    Mian ke dad se Shar­ma gaye!’

    This was in response to Chetan Shar­ma get­ting hit for that last ball six by Mian­dad.

    2) The amul boy in a kur­ta-paja­ma-shawl singing.

    Amul Parotha’.

    This was when Anup Jalota was at the peak of his pop­u­lar­i­ty.

  • Soundar: weren’t these guys just ter­rif­ic?! Wow. I remem­bered my cousin who used to say “Anup Jamal­go­ta”! 🙂

    Thanks for shar­ing these two gems — I had not enjoyed them ear­li­er!

  • In an era of bland advertising…Amul real­ly stood out for their inge­nu­ity. Excel­lent post this..compiling some of their gems!

  • Amreekan­desi: Thanks! This is one of my most pop­u­lar posts from a search engine per­spec­tive, but doesn’t get as many com­ments, so I’m real­ly thank­ful!

  • Pingback: Do you know Number One Brand in India ?()

  • Mahen­dra: The ‘Brad But­ter: Jolie Good Idea’ poster was in BBC news when it was top­i­cal! 🙂

    I love puns and word play and Amul will always have a spe­cial place in my heart (alas, nev­er in my fridge!).

  • She­faly: thanks for vis­it­ing. Wow! Amul ad fea­tured in BBC! Great!

    Amul was also not avail­able in the US for many years, but has recent­ly start­ed appear­ing in some desi shops in some cities. Alas, not in UK yet…

    I real­ly find it amaz­ing that the ad agency has carte blanche in choos­ing and mak­ing the ads!

    Again, thanks.

  • Mahen­dra: I am sure it is avail­able in desi stores here. I just do not know because I am nev­er in the mar­ket for but­ter, no mat­ter what brand. 🙂

    Thanks.

  • jim­my

    it was my rit­u­al to fol­low amul ads when I was a stu­dent in trivan­drum, ker­ala. Near pat­tom bus stop in the city. I start­ed notic­ing this even before that dur­ing my occa­sion­al vis­its to cochin. Dis­play was there near cochin ship yard.

  • myschoolmerib­aat

    like your blog about amul.
    add recent add reg­u­lar­ly

  • Nice col­lec­tion. Thanks for bring­ing back some nice mem­o­ries of some ter­rif­ic Amul cam­paigns.

  • prashant

    hey i likes u r adds …
    letest add of amul butter…vinod kam­bli and sachin ten­dulkar …” dost abhi tost na raha” wht an add …awe­sum …!!!!!!!